This season, we watch in awe as leaves on the trees burst with color and then begin to fall away. It is a perfect time to reflect on all we have to be grateful for and to look ahead enthusiastically toward the future. At Merriman, we feel an immense gratitude for your trust and engagement with us, especially during these last two years. We’ve learned so much from navigating these challenging times with you, and we are honored that you have stayed the course and continue to trust us with such an important aspect of your life. Your trust propels us forward and inspires us to be better each day.
In March of last year, I sent an email to our clients explaining how we would approach this new virus, COVID-19. While we didn’t then know the severity or length of time COVID-19 would affect us, we believed that by continuing our relentless focus on investment and financial planning expertise and seeking to understand the shifting needs of our clients, we would see our fellow teammates and clients through this successfully.
I expressed at the time, “While not perfect, we’ve been able to execute all our core functions—most importantly, listening empathetically to our clients and providing guidance based on our decades of experience. While we can’t predict how this will play out or when things might return to normal, we’re committed to seeing you through to the other side.”
I am pleased to say that with your patience and understanding, I feel we accomplished this mission. We listened as many of you shared your fears about health and family, the global economy, the time missed with grandkids or friends, or newfound uncertainty about retirement or job security. In each conversation, we strove to discuss what our most impactful support could look like. We used our expertise to rebalance portfolios during critical moments, took advantage of tax-loss harvesting and Roth conversion opportunities, and made some of the biggest enhancements to our portfolios in Merriman’s history. We are grateful for the trust you put in us, and we hope to serve you and your family for decades to come.
As a company, we have leaned into our core values to emerge stronger than ever. This year, we’ve added seven new positions (more than 15% of our workforce), and we are looking to add multiple additional teammates over the next six months to help us serve the many new families joining Merriman. Most of these new families have come directly from introductions you’ve made, so thank you. It thrills us that you would refer a friend, co-worker, or family member to Merriman. We consider an introduction to someone you care about to be the highest compliment, and we are energized to offer our services to benefit their futures.
As with so many things these last two years, we’ve learned to flex to meet new demands. We’ve had to reimagine how our employees work, balancing in-person contributions to our office community and working remotely to prioritize health and safety. We have gathered feedback from our employees throughout this period, and the overwhelming message we received from our team was that they wanted to maintain the flexibility to both work from home and have a designated office that supported employee development, collaboration, and community. Regardless of team member location, maintaining an excellent client experience has been paramount in this decision-making process.
After much input and reflection, we’re incredibly excited to tell you that as of January 1, 2022, we will have new office locations in Seattle and Bellevue, in addition to our offices in Eugene and Spokane. Your needs, along with the desires of our employees and our growth, were key factors in the vision of our new offices. Both spaces will provide beautiful client meeting spaces when we desire gathering in person. We are also committed to continue enhancing our virtual meeting experience for those of you who enjoy connecting with us from the convenience of your own home. We look forward to sharing more details soon.
Thank you for your continued trust and belief in the Merriman team. We wish you a wonderful and meaningful holiday season and look forward to connecting soon.
Jeremy Burger, CFA, CFP®